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Taishan nuclear power plant readied for ‘hot test’

Operation date for Unit 1 already pushed back to second half of this year, with Unit 2 to go online in the first half of 2018

The nearby Taishan nuclear power plant, located in neighbouring Guangdong Province, is being readied for its ‘first loading of nuclear fuel,’ according to a filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
The power plant is jointly run by China General Nuclear Power (CGN) and Electricité de France (EDF), with an initial opening date of the first half of the year since being pushed back to the second half of this year for Unit 1 of the facility. Unit 2 is expected to become functional only in the first half of next year, according to a previous company filing.
‘Taishan Unit 1 has completed inspection from the relevant regulatory authorities of the State, and entered into the key stage of hot functional test,’ notes the filing, clarifying that the ‘Hot functional test is the last overall performance testing before the first loading of nuclear fuel’ and covers ‘the whole pressure and temperature range for reactors from halt to normal operation.’
According to the group’s first quarter results, it saw a 12.4 per cent increase in the power generated by nuclear plants operated and managed by the group for the first three months of the year when compared to the same period last year.
In total, the group generated 29,427.8GWh (gigawatt-hours) through its six subsidiary operations and one ‘associate’ operation.

Nuclear neighbour
The group’s closest producer of electricity is the Yangjiang Nuclear Power Station, also located in Guangdong Province and approximately 200 kilometres from the MSAR.
The facility, which currently operates four reactors, the most recent of which was ‘qualified for commercial operation’ on March 15 of this year, produced a total of 5,494.24GWh in the period, a 9.67 per cent decrease year-on-year. Two more reactors at the site are scheduled to enter operation next year.
In addition to the Taishan and Yangjiang facilities, the CGN group operates three other nuclear power stations in Guangdong Province; namely, the Daya Bay station, Ling’ao station and Lingdong station.
The group’s largest power output, aside from that provided by subsidiaries – which amounted to 25,723.79GWh in the quarter – was from a facility in Fujian Province, Ningde Nuclear Power Station, which saw a 67 per cent increase in output year-on-year, reaching 6,907.42GWh in the quarter.
The group also operates nuclear power stations in Guanxi and Liaoning provinces.
The MSAR’s overall power consumption reached ‘another record high’ last year, according to local electricity supplier Companhia de Electricidade de Macau (CEM), hitting 5,255GWh.
CEM supplied just 15 per cent of the total power consumption in the year, importing 4,306GWh from the Mainland, a 6.2 per cent year-on-year increase. However, the resumption of natural gas supply at Coloane Power Station B late last month ‘will lead to an expected rise in the proportion of local power generation,’ CEM notes.

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